I painted this knowing it would be going into a winter holiday show at The Castle Gallery so I kept the palette fairly cool. The model is the same person who posed for me for previous paintings and this is also on her fiance's farm. She struck this rather serious, pensive expression which is appropriate for a young woman at the cusp of making big changes in her life. The rusting farm equipment in the background added a punch of warm color to balance her skin tones in the otherwise grey left side of the painting.
I painted this as a birthday gift to my dear friend Kristina. Kristina is one of the most insightful, compassionate, and fun people I know and had the great privilege to work with when she was a therapist at our hospital. Since we've both more or less retired, we've had lots of fun play dates, indulging in various crafts, cooking projects, and gallery explorations, as well as kayaking with our husbands. She's always coming up with something new and interesting to do, which most recently was cheese making! She was a pleasure to paint and I hope I did credit to both her inner and outer beauty.
I'm just back from another great workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry, this time held in Lexington, Kentucky. The weather on the drive down was less than auspicious, pelting me with wind and rain all the way from Indiana, through Ohio, and into Kentucky. And shortly after settling into my hotel, tornado warnings began for Lexington and the counties surrounding it and continued well into the night. This was the view from my room. The block of buildings impressively lit up by the setting sun, was where the workshop was held.
Happily, the ominous weather of my arrival day cleared up beautifully by the next day and remained fine for the next three days of the workshop.
Dreama is a treasure and her workshop was in every way, as inspiring and informative as I remembered. Additionally, it was a pleasure to be in the company of the lovely women who also attended. Every one of us were in love with painting and reveled in the experience.
The two paintings with the geraniums were done from photos provided by Dreama to the entire class, from which she demonstrated her techniques. The cat painting is from my own reference of our Kitty Pie.
My friend's daughter recently got engaged and in the bargain, will be moving to her new husband's hobby farm. She was a sport to look the part and pose for me in a little country dress I brought along.
Despite the perhaps misleading title, Dan isn't a derelict junk collector. He's a musician and master gardener with an awesome vegetable garden, and a really nice guy. All summer he cans those beautiful veggies and recently gave me lessons on canning green beans, hence the title.
When we go paddling on the river near our home, we often go past this lovely old building that had probably been built as a church but is now an antique store. I'm loving the challenge of painting water these days and this was a great subject.
A small painting of my husband in his garden, tending to his volunteer sunflowers and Shasta daisies, which are so much fun to paint. He has lots of tomatoes and peppers as well, sharing space and competing for sunshine, and somehow we always get more tomatoes than we, or our friends and family can use. I was compelled to paint this scene because of the wonderful back lighting around Scott, obscuring his face but creating the warm glow around him and outlining the cool shadows of his white t-shirt. And also because of the cheerful medley of flowers and greenery and their interplay of light and shadows.
Plein air is still unconquered territory for me. Last week I went out with friends to paint and couldn't even remember how to set up my french easel. Right after the long and awkward period of setting up, spreading out my copious equipment, and settling in to paint, the bugs descended and I discovered the one thing I didn't pack was bug spray. Additionally, in spite of being a dog lover, the dog that lived on this property didn't love me back. She didn't think I should be there and made her point painfully clear.
On the upside, it was a beautiful morning with comfortable temperatures, and I found this lovely tree grove dappled with sun and shadows. We were only there for a couple of hours but enough time for me to get down the composition and values and enough information to finish this up at home. I think I'll try it again, someday.
Sunflowers and daisies grow wild all around our vegetable and herb garden. My husband can't bear to pull up a flower, no matter where it may sprout, so blossoms are bountiful around here. These were so beautiful, back lit by sunshine and against the blue sky, how could I not try to paint them. I loved how it turned out.
I'm so excited to be a part of this beautiful gallery and one of the artists in their summer exhibit. If you're ever in Ft.Wayne, Indiana, make an effort to visit the beautiful Castle Gallery. It's in the historic West Central district of town and the Castle is clearly the most magnificent home in the neighborhood. Click here to visit their website.
This was captured in December where in Texas, it still appears to be barely Autumn. The beautiful Riverwalk of San Antonio is built approximately one story below the actual city and winds along the San Antonio River. It's classified as a city park but offers cafes and fine dining, galleries, hotels and shops. It's a must see. I loved this view with the rich colors reflected in the water.
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I think I need a new camera or else a new computer. No matter what device I used to photograph this painting, it just didn't translate the image optimally. I am happy with how the painting turned out. It was a vehicle to accomplish two things I wanted to do, to paint water and to paint big with a big brush! I like how painting big is very physical. I really get my shoulders into it and oddly, my legs. I had a little dance step at times that went, stroke, back step, stroke, back step, stroke...
This is of the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. Also known as "the bat bridge", named for the gazillion bats that live under it by day and come pouring out and up each evening, en masse, to eat little Texan bugs. It's reason enough to have big nightly parties with the hundreds of people that come out to enjoy the show, seriously, every night throughout the summer. In this view, we were sitting along the river's edge in the shadows of the trees and the sun was setting behind us casting that gorgeous peachy cast on the skyline beyond the bridge. I didn't include the throngs of people that crowded along the railing of the bridge, nor the parade of kayaks, row boats, paddle boats, swan boats, tour boats, and other flotilla that added to the festive atmosphere. Just one of the many, many charms of Austin.
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When it's nice out, we like to take drives into the nearby countryside and enjoy the fresh air and sparse traffic. We live near a community with a large Amish population, so you just have to relax and take your time if you're sharing the road with folks in their buggies. This was from one of those trips with the late afternoon sun creating beautiful shadows on a road near our home.
This is our favorite Irishman, our very dear friend Pat, caught with an impish expression. I painted this quickly with thick paint as part of the Daily Paintworks color challenge. I was trying to concentrate on values and use expressive colors, but without realizing it, I managed to convert the colors back toward realistic flesh tones. It was fun and pretty liberating although the painting wasn't as expressive as I was shooting for.
The most recent addition to my large painting celebrating friends and family within our musical community. This is Paul, who I've mentioned is an amazing banjo, guitar, and dobro player, and master woodworker/carpenter and is married to Mona! Mona has been a frequent subject and was the first "detail" completed for this project.
Number two portrait completed as part of the large painting of musical friends and family, although the background is just loosely painted in. I expect it will change as I add more people into the the background. This is our lovely Priscilla.
For quite a while I've had a loose plan of doing a large piece representing a scene out of my life that includes family and friends playing or enjoying music. My husband and I met through music and have been a part of a musical community of friends since the mid seventies, so I want to celebrate those folks on canvas. It's going to take awhile since the canvas is 24 x 48 and there are a lot of people, so I thought I'd just post bits of it as I go. The first person completed is my dear friend Mona, who's married to a great banjo player.
See? Because she's in a park, by a general, and has sort of parked herself there? Ok, maybe it's a stretch. I just needed to spend some time in a sunny, green, presumably warm spot, even if it's in my head since today, here in northeast Indiana, we got another 10 inches of snow. And it seems like it's been snowing ever since mid-December. The news reported that our January total was the highest since the Civil War and I don't doubt it. But spring's coming, spring is always coming.
This was just too much fun. My nephew Michael does voice work and had entered a contest doing impersonations. When I saw his video, I thought he must have had a crew doing cool lighting effects but he told me he simply held a flashlight under his chin. He was doing a reading in a Vincent Price voice and it was effective! AND he almost won! Something else he clarified to my great relief, was that he was wearing a wig. The boy is actually young and blonde. This was done from a screen shot of the video with Michael's permission.
After painting small for the last couple of weeks, using little brushes on little panels with tight little strokes, I was ready to go a bigger. This tree helped get the ya yas out of my system. I love live oaks and am fascinated with their huge, graceful limbs and the spectrum of colors shooting through the leaves.
A little girl about to twirl like nobody's watching, apparently inspired by Matisse's "A Ballet Dancer Seated on a Stool". This also was from a visit to the Matisse exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art last fall.
A couple of kids splashing around in the reflecting pool of Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park.
In spite of my intentions to the contrary, I usually don't manage to paint every day, but have lately thanks to a challenge put out by artist Leslie Saeta. The challenge was to paint and post every day in January, but I was reveling in my son's visit home for the first days of the month and so I was late to the game. And I just don't paint fast enough to manage one a day, but I have enjoyed having that little incentive to paint more. You can visit Leslie's blog and all of the challenge entries at lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.
This beautiful old spool bed was in my Aunt Jerry's family for generations. It's so legs are so long, when I was little, my sister and I could sit upright while playing under it. I loved it so much, she gave it to me when I was a teenager and it's been with me ever since. It has to be getting close to 200 years old now and I hope it will be around for several more generations. We keep it in a rarely used guest room now with my aunt's picture next to it and it will go on to my son one day where more memories will be made.
While having lunch on the patio of an Austin restaurant, this adorable petite kitty popped over the fence and started making her rounds. She wouldn't let diners pet her but she accepted donations of their food and generously posed for photos. The waitress said they fed her twice a day but she still regularly visited the patio during busy times. She totally upstaged the accordion player also walking around entertaining the customers. We enjoyed the kitty more.
Roxie is my friend's grandpuppy. There was a bit of a challenge to keep her from blending into the wall behind her since they were almost identical colors. Additionally, she was laying in mulch which also blended with her tan colored fur on her legs and chest. If you've visited this blog before and are experiencing some deja vu, you might be remembering my previous paintings of my friend's other two dogs who also posed in front of this wall.
This little mug shot of my nephew Jeremy is from a photo he gave me. I liked that it caught him in a casual, slightly scruffy moment. I forgot to give him photo credit for the picture I used to paint his girlfriend, oops, make that fiance, Alyssa who was featured in my last post.
We had a wonderful Christmas with this year since my son, daughter-in-love, and nephews were all home and together. One of the best gifts was that my nephew brought along his beautiful girlfriend Alyssa and they surprised us with their engagement announcement! This is her little portrait to join the others on my wall of family mugs!